5 Best Therapy Animals

These animals not only make great companions, but also are highly valued as animal-assisted therapy pets. Animal-assisted therapies are becoming increasingly common as studies show the health benefits (physical as well as mental) for humans.

There are a wide range of animals known to be beneficial as therapy pets, all for unique reasons. Does your animal friend make the list?

1.  Llama

Llamas may be an unexpected choice for a therapy animal, however according to Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas and Alpacas, they are known to be calm and quiet and they communicate primarily through body language. This automatically makes them amazing therapy animals because of their tranquil demeanor and ability to notice subtle body language cues.

The Mtn Peaks website further describes how their llamas are used as therapy animals in a variety of settings including, “schools, hospitals, senior communities, and rehab facilities.”

Find inspiring stories about how llamas and alpacas have made a tremendous difference as therapy animals here »

2.  Horse

The significant benefits of horse related therapies are not only obvious due to the popular use of the horses, but also the fact that health insurances are now often covering horse related therapy sessions as raisingtroubledkids.com describes.

The same website explains that horses are very intuitive when it comes to behavior and they are therefore very helpful for behavior related disorders in their riders. The article describes that horses “…are also intelligent and interactive like dogs, provide a warm soft hide to lean on, and they empower their riders.” Now many fields, including some hippotherapy programs, focus primarily on the psychological benefits that riders can gain from their time riding. For example, children with autism benefit greatly from the sensory stimuli received from riding a horse, which childrenstheraplay.org discusses.

3.  Monkey

Monkeys are also unique therapy animals that have recently become more common. According to Helping Hands Monkey Helpers, monkeys have “dexterous hands and amazing fine motor skills,” which allow them to perform many tasks for owners that may have a physical disability.

More emotionally speaking, they are animals that benefit greatly from being nurtured and cared for, and capuchin monkeys in particular are small enough to be cradled, which can provide a calming presence for people.

4.  Dog

Dogs are well known for their therapy assistance, and for good reason. They are very intuitive, caring, and loving. Depending on the breed, there are even more benefits to having a therapy dog.

Therapydogcertification.com details how Greyhounds in particular are known for being extremely sensitive to their surroundings. They can detect subtle noise changes, and generally do not bark. They also are very affectionate with their owners. They are especially helpful for insomniacs due to their calming presence as seniorcare.net addresses.

5.  Rabbit

Rabbits are another fantastic choice for a therapy animal. Tenderlovingears.webs.com reports that they are small enough to hold, and they are very sensitive to changes in body language as well. They love to be nurtured and ultimately nurture you in response.

Additionally, the mini-rex rabbits have extremely soft fur, which is beneficial for people with psychological disabilities that tactile therapy can help. They are also great conversation starters, creating laughter, fun, and happiness wherever they go.

Your thoughts?

These animals are all unique in a variety of ways, but their underlying similar characteristics involve being loving, caring, and nurturing.

Is there an animal that you’ve had a great experience with that you’d like to share? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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